Going out to breakfast with friends is the best way to spend a lazy Sunday morning, isn’t it? It’s even better when the weather is perfect, and the spot where you’ll be eating is right across the street from the beach.
It’s 11am and we’re heading toward Encinitas via the Highway 101 to meet our friend Patti. As an Encinitas local who loves her town, Patti knows everything about the area including all the best places to grab a bite. She has that hip “laid back” vibe that you can only get from living in one of California’s true beach towns. Everything about her is effortlessly cool. So when she suggests that we eat at one of her favorite breakfast spots, Swami’s Cafe, we quickly agreed.
Swami’s Cafe is only feet off of the 101 which, in this part of Encinitas, is more like a small two lane road then an actually highway. Lined with loads of surf shops, clothing store, cafes and bars, this stretch of road feels more like the main street of a small town then a highway. After a quick 20 minute drive from San Diego, we approach our destination. Even from a quarter mile away, the cafe is easy to spot. The massive crowd that is spilling out onto the tiny parking lot just below the bright yellow Swami’s Cafe sign makes it hard to miss.
We end up parking across the street from the cafe which means that we have to make our own run across the two lane highway. However, we’re not the only people scurrying across the 101. In both directions, I can see groups, big and small, making a quick sprint across the warm asphalt of the semi busy two-lane road..
The cafe has a great local vibe. Every inch of wall including most of the ceiling is covered in stickers, decals, doodles or handwritten names and messages. This place definitely feels like a part of the community, and judging by the crowd, the locals agree.
The line is out the door, and I can see that all the indoor and outdoor seating is completely packed. Everywhere I look there are people standing around, keeping a keen eye out for a table to open up.
After only a five minute wait, we are at the front of the line and ordering our food. At Swami’s Cafe, you place your order at the counter, then they give you a number that you bring to a table. When your food is ready, the friendly employees will bring the orders to you table. I have to recognize the staff for their patience with dealing with such a large crowd and still remaining so friendly. They are genuinely nice people. The cafe itself is still full after we order. However, they soon open a spill-over area next to the cafe where we are able to quickly grab an open table.
The wait for our food was a little long, but we can see it’s crazy busy so we completely understand and are very happy to wait. Plus, the weather is great and we are enjoying each other's company. More importantly, we have coffee. We’re in no rush.
Twenty minutes later and our food arrives, pipping hot and looking like a feast of a breakfast. Patti ordered the California Scrambler. @SDJigger ordered Chilaquiles, and I got the Granola Coconut French toast.
My french toast is light and airy with the perfect amount of coconut and granola. I can see that @SDJigger is enjoying his food, and Patti is devouring her delicious looking scrambler. As we eat our comforting breakfast in the warm beach air, I can see that we are all relaxed and happy to be in the moment. The atmosphere in the cafe combined with the warm and familiar taste of breakfast makes us happy and content. We are not in a rush to leave anytime time soon. Over the next hour, we eat and talk. Patti tells us more about Encinitas, and I began to understand why she loves living here so much. For a split second, I consider dropping everything that I have in San Diego, relocating to the amazing beach town and eating at Swami’s Cafe every morning... OR maybe we’ll just have to visit Patti every Sunday morning to have breakfast at Swami’s Cafe; a great spot to spend a lazy Sunday morning with great friends.